05 Nov 2019, 13:58
Sören Amelang

Ambitious climate protection will not harm employment in Germany - study

Clean Energy Wire

The number of jobs in Germany will increase if the country pursues ambitious emissions cuts, according to a study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), which is affiliated with the Social Democrats (SPD), currently in a coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Conservatives. An energy transition aiming for 95 percent CO2 reduction will increase employment by 43,000 by 2050 compared to a reference scenario. "This figure is very small in terms of total employment," currently standing at more than 45 million, the study states. "However, the findings are clear: Against this background, the balance between climate protection and jobs in the public debate is unjustified - at least from a macroeconomic perspective."
The study, which is based on the scenarios used in the landmark "climate paths" report from early 2018 by German industry association BDI, also found that jobs will be lost in particular sectors of the economy, with the largest losses expected in the oil, natural gas and coal industries. The researchers also expect that the energy transition will negatively affect vehicle technicians. "Nevertheless, the employment effects related to the entire automotive industry are comparatively low."

Germany still has an official target to reduce emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050, but Merkel announced at the UN Climate Action Summit that the country is committed to becoming "climate-neutral by 2050. The employment effects of the energy transition are a controversial topic given many industry warnings of job losses. But most studies on the subject conclude that the drive to cut emissions only has a minor effect on total employment.

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